By Bejay Browne
A PAPHOS-based Christian Fellowship will start to operate a soup kitchen to help feed the needy this month as part of an ongoing project.
The Paphos Christian Fellowship International (PCFI) started the ‘Mathew 25 Project’- in reference to a chapter in the bible. It started as a garden project which is manned by volunteers. They grow vegetables, work on the land and eat what they grow. They also give the produce to needy families in Paphos.
PCFI’s Pastor Allan Hodson said: “This is a project which is slowly growing and as we realised that there is a greater need, we decided to operate a soup kitchen.”
Mark Davies, Elder of PCFI said that each Friday from February 7, church members and volunteers would offer food to the neediest people of Paphos.
Davies said: “Our aim is to try and help everyone in the community who is in need. Members of the PCFI are contributing to ensure that the first month’s supplies will be covered. We are starting by taking small steps of faith in the hope and belief that our resources and volunteers will grow.”
The new project is housed at the PCFI church which is at the old Welcome Inn in Kato Paphos.
The Pastor said: “The weather is colder now and so there is a need to warm people up. We will serve food on Friday between noon and 3pm, and if there is any left over we will serve this to the needy in the evenings.”
In addition, the pastor said he has been made aware of a number of homeless people living in abandoned buildings in Kato Paphos.
“We will find these people and take them some hot food and blankets and bedding if it’s needed.”
Pastor Hodson said that along with the 50 or so congregation, a decision was made to trust that only people who were genuinely in need would come forward for help. “We don’t want to have to check on people’s circumstances. There may be those that take advantage, but we must try to do it this way”
He said that the Fellowship hoped everyone in the community who is needy feels welcome, whether they worship with them or not.
Every Tuesday for the last few months the PCFI hands out non perishable items to tens of needy people with the help of local supermarkets, church members and other individuals.
The Fellowship stress that they are extending a helping hand to everyone in need, no matter what race or religion.
“Some of the families we are helping are Muslims from Syria. They asked if they could cook our PCFI Christmas lunch for us and we all sat down together. It was wonderful; they wanted to give something back.”
The Pastor stressed that the initiative would continue as long as there was a need and as long as the Fellowship was able to sustain it.
Hot food will be served to the hungry at the soup kitchen but they urgently need more volunteers to help with cooking and serving.
For more information, contact Pastor Allan Hodson on 96 217416 or email [email protected]